Unbiased headline news for Saturday February 24, 2024 – Two years into the conflict in Ukraine, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo affirmed the effectiveness of the economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the Biden administration.

Raimondo highlighted collaborative efforts with over 30 countries globally to thwart President Putin’s access to crucial equipment and technology for his war machine. Despite progress, she acknowledged the ongoing need for further actions. Recently, the Biden administration, including the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, imposed additional sanctions on Russia.

The tragic fire in Valencia, Spain, resulted in a death toll of 10, as authorities located the remains of the last missing person.

Forensic police discovered the 10th victim inside the charred building. National government delegate Pilar Bernabé informed journalists about plans for DNA testing to confirm the identities of all the victims, emphasizing the importance of accurate identification.

A Gallup Poll released on Friday revealed a decline in President Joe Biden’s approval rating to 38%, marking a three-point drop. The poll showed Biden’s ratings below par across five distinct issues.

While Democrats expressed higher approval, with 82% overall and 75% on the economy, divisions existed. Democratic approval stood at 72% on Ukraine, 69% on foreign affairs, 55% on immigration, and 51% on the Middle East. Notably, the disproportionately low Republican approval ratings heavily influenced the overall results.

Following their escape from a Grenada police station, three recaptured inmates, Ron Mitchell, Trevon Robertson, and Abita Stanislaus, are implicated in the possible hijacking of a yacht, resulting in the deaths of two American citizens.

The Royal Grenada Police Force reported the December arrest of the individuals on charges of robbery with violence, with Ron Mitchell facing additional charges of assault and rape. The Caribbean Safety and Security Net revealed the discovery of blood during an inspection of the yacht Simplicity.

Two National Guardsmen lost their lives in a tragic incident when a military helicopter crashed in northeast Mississippi on Friday afternoon during a routine training flight, officials confirmed.

The AH-64 Apache went down around 2 p.m. in a wooded area near Boonville in Prentiss County, as reported by the Mississippi National Guard. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves conveyed the unfortunate news, stating, “Mississippi will always be grateful for their service, and we will never forget them,” in a statement shared on social media.

A balloon intercepted by fighter aircraft over Utah on Friday has been identified as a “likely hobby balloon” and has exited United States airspace, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The “small balloon” encountered interception Friday morning at an altitude of 43,000 to 45,000 feet but was permitted to continue its flight above the U.S. NORAD clarified that, after assessment, the balloon posed no national security threat, and no additional information about the balloon is available.

Pope Francis, as a precautionary measure after experiencing mild flu symptoms, canceled a scheduled audience for Saturday, as announced by the Vatican press office in a brief statement.

The pontiff, originally set to meet with Rome deacons in the morning, proceeded with his weekly Sunday Angelus address as planned. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni indicated that no further health updates were anticipated for the day.

With the commencement of the tax filing season, the IRS has introduced a new online filing option called Direct File, which will be available to taxpayers in some states in “the coming days,” the IRS revealed.

This free site for filing federal tax returns directly through the IRS will initially open for new users in 12 states during unspecified windows before becoming widely accessible to taxpayers in those states by mid-March. The IRS has already initiated its filing site for testing purposes among some federal government workers.